I chose The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter to take on vacation with me. It is always fun to explore the work of an author new to me in sunny climes. This was no exception.
Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.
Titus: the perfect son.
Charlie: the perfect illusion.
Rachel: the perfect stranger.
Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.
And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.
This story revolves around four main characters spouses Matthew and Charlie and their adopted son Titus and their new friend Rachel.
Matthew runs a book group and invites Rachel to join it. He and Titus become fond of Rachel but Charlie remains wary of her. He cannot understand why she wants to be so friendly with them so quickly and is further infuriated when she accepts a job as assistant to and living with his godmother.
Matthew is murdered and only the four main characters are in the room. Who has killed such a much loved man?
I found The Dinner Guest a bit difficult to follow as the story is told from a variety of viewpoints and also during different time periods. I did not like this. I also found the reveal predictable, and the ending more so. That was disappointing. Would I read other books by B.P.Walters? While I would not seek them out, I would not actively avoid them.
B P Walter was born and raised in Essex, England. After spending his childhood and teenage years reading compulsively, he worked in bookshops then went to the University of Southampton to study Film and English followed by an MA in Film & Cultural Management. He is an alumni of the Faber Academy and works in social media coordination. His debut novel, A Version of the Truth, was published in 2019, followed by Hold Your Breath in 2020, and The Dinner Guest, which was chosen as a Waterstones Book of the Month, in April 2021.
You can follow B P Walter on Twitter: @BarnabyWalter